Bayern make poor start to title defence

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The Independent Online

The European champions, Bayern Munich, made a disappointing start to the defence of their title, being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sparta Prague in Group H of the Champions' League last night. In the same group, Feyenoord gained a 2-2 tie at Spartak Moscow.

The European champions, Bayern Munich, made a disappointing start to the defence of their title, being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sparta Prague in Group H of the Champions' League last night. In the same group, Feyenoord gained a 2-2 tie at Spartak Moscow.

Bayern, missing the injured Stefan Effenberg, Mehmet Scholl and Jens Jeremies, could make little impact on a well-organised Sparta side. In Moscow, Feyenoord raced into a 2-0 lead through Paul Bosvelt and Jon Dahl Tomasson but Spartak hit back with two goals in six minutes just after the hour mark from their Brazilian forward Luis Robson and Vladimir Bestchastnykh to salvage a point.

Despite the absence of Rivaldo and Marc Overmars, Barcelona scored an impressive 3-0 victory at Fenerbahce with strikes by Patrick Kluivert, Patrik Andersson and Javier Saviola. The game was briefly suspended due to a floodlight failure in the second half.

That result put the Catalan team top of Group F on goal difference from Bayer Leverkusen who gained a 1-0 victory at Lyon thanks to a strike from the veteran striker Ulf Kirsten.

Porto gained a 2-1 victory at Norway's Rosenborg to stay in touch with Juventus in Group E. Renivaldo Pena struck early for the Portuguese team, Anderson Deco added a second before Sigurd Rushfeldt replied for the home side.

* The German sportswear firm Adidas is buying 10 per cent of Bayern Munich in a deal that values the club at around £470m, more than Manchester United.

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